Theater Reviews

Review: “Port Authority”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre, Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe When: through Feb. 16 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 Conor McPherson is a superb storyteller, as anyone who has seen “The Weir,” “Dublin Carol,” “Shining City” or “The Seafarer” knows. Like his other early plays, “Port Authority,” first produced in 2001, shows off his mastery(…)

Review: “Tribes”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Feb. 9 Tickets: $20-$82 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Nina Raine’s “Tribes” is a very irritating dysfunctional family drama. But in a good way. Mostly. The provocative play is about extremely intelligent British intellectuals who are obsessed with language yet(…)

“The Merry Wives of Windsor”

“The Merry Wives of Windsor”

RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater Courtyard Theater, Navy Pier When: through Jan. 19 Tickets: $48-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I’ve never really been able to warm up to “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Legend has it that Shakespeare wrote the play to satisfy Queen Elizabeth I’s desire to see more of Sir(…)

“An Inspector Calls”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: though Jan. 12 Tickets: $37.50-$52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic You wouldn’t immediately think of “An Inspector Calls” as a holiday show, but J. B. Priestley’s 1945 play is akin to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — without the(…)

Review: “Appropriate”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Dec. 8 Tickets: $20-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 Everyone behaves inappropriately in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “Appropriate” at Victory Gardens Theater, and they also attempt to appropriate evidence of a horrific history for their own ends. The playwright, too, could be accused of appropriation: He’s a young African(…)

Review: “Compulsion”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Next Theatre Company, Noyse Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston When: Through Nov. 17 Tickets: $30-$40 Phone: 847-475-1875 ext. 2 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Some people are so aggressive, so adversarial and so driven to be their own worst enemy that it’s hard to have much sympathy for them. Such(…)

Review: “Northanger Abbey”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center, Upstairs Mainstage, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $37.50-52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 If you’re looking for light-hearted entertainment with a literary bent, Remy Bumppo’s lively production of “Northanger Abbey” is a good bet. Adapted by Brit Tim Luscombe and directed by Joanie Schultz, Jane(…)

Review: “The North China Lover”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $36-$70 Phone: 312-337-0665  Might as well admit it: I don’t really “get” Marguerite Duras. Maybe that’s why I can appreciate the care and complexity of Lookingglass Theatre Company’s world premiere stage version of “The North China Lover,” but(…)